Those times the GOP didn’t threaten government shutdown.

September 28, 2013

Source: Wikimedia Commons. Author: By Keith Ellison from Minneapolis, USA.

Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Author: Keith Ellison from Minneapolis, USA.


It is becoming increasingly obvious that Republicans simply do not like to lose. They cannot abide it. They lost the Senate, they lost the popular vote for the House of Representatives, and with Obamacare a big part of the 2012 Presidential election… they lost that too. Their record in the White House since the turn of the century was horrendous, Red States tend to be the highest for poverty and the uninsured, and yet they still demand to be taken as a credible alternative to a President who is shrinking the deficit the fastest since World War II, and helping those with pre-existing conditions get coverage. It is difficult for Republicans to accept that the Democratic President has achieved more in just four years, than the Republican Party has achieved in decades.

So, what in the past, hasn’t made the Republican Party decide they wish to close down government? Well:

The Republicans didn’t threaten to close down government, for the massive Bush deficit:
In 2001, the CBO announced that the Clinton surplus of $280 billion would lead to a surplus of $5.9tn by 2011. After 8 years of Bush, that number was actually -$6tn. Two wars, massive failed tax cuts and a recession later – all of which, Tea Party Republicans appear to have been asleep throughout – and most (over 60%) believe the deficit is growing under Obama. In fact, the deficit is shrinking under Obama, and pretty rapidly. Down 37.6% for the first 10 months of the fiscal year. Look at all of those deficit years. All Republican. Except for since 2008, with the deficit falling rapidly, under a Democrat.

screen shot 2013-01-20 at 5.48.24 am
– Can you imagine how Republicans would have reacted had the Party that inherited the deficit in ’92, and again in ’08 been Republican? The President would be hailed as a great success. The saviour of the US economy from the dark days that came before.

Republicans didn’t feel the need to register their disgust at the President’s indifference to Osama Bin Laden:
Can you imagine the outrage across Republican America if six months after the biggest terrorist attack on US soil, in which thousands of Americans died, the President on National TV, tells the country that when it comes to Osama Bin Laden:

“I don’t know where he is and you know I don’t spend that much time on him really”.

– Can you imagine the outrage if President Obama had said that? If President Obama had said of Benghazi: “You know, I just don’t spend much time on it really” Fox – after visibly exploding with fury live on TV – would spend days discussing just how much President Obama must hate America. Twitter would be a gathering of Americans with Eagles as their profile picture, demanding impeachment for anti-American hate. Can you imagine the Republican reaction, if ten years after the previous President not spending much time catching the man responsible for 3000 American deaths, a Republican President was the Commander-in-Chief when Osama Bin Laden is tracked down and caught? He would be hailed as the saviour of the economy, and the man who brought justice for 9/11. Instead, they are charging President Obama with weakness, over his incredible diplomacy tactic with Iran and Syria.

The Republicans had absolutely no problem with warrantless wiretapping & The Patriot Act:
Can you imagine the storm of shit that would be kicked up had warrantless wiretapping, and The Patriot Act been an Act conceived by the Obama Administration? I shudder to think how many comparisons to Orwell’s 1984 we would be presented with. Badly Photoshopped images of Obama as Stalin would flood social media. How did Republicans react when The Patriot Act was conceived and then passed by Republicans? With complete indifference.

Republicans didn’t threaten government shut down for Republican mistreating of veterans:
If you voted Bush in 2004, whilst displaying a “We support our troops!” bumper sticker, perhaps it’s time to rethink your allegiances; If President Obama’s healthcare plan involved cuts to veterans care, I can say with some degree of certainty that the reaction from Republicans would range from “He hates American soldiers! Impeach NOW!” to… “He’s letting the Terrorists win! It’s a conspiracy!”. And yet, had the Republicans returned to power in 2008, the budget for Veterans care – at the precise time most were coming home from Iraq & Afghanistan – was intended to be slashed. Due to previous cuts to Veterans affairs, centers were closing down, and queues for care became over burdensome due to those cuts. The Administration proposed further cuts. According to the “VA Health Care Funding Alert,” Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Press Release, January 31, 2003; 200,000 veterans were having to wait over six months for a medical visit, due to health care shortages. Can you imagine the Republican response if ‘Obamacare’ included a section dedicated to making it far more difficult for veterans to get healthcare? Ted Cruz would have had a lot more to talk about in his speech that included absolutely nothing of interest.

Well, according to a study released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Obamacare will enable 630,000 uninsured veterans to qualify for the expanded Medicaid program, and an extra 520,000 veterans qualify for subsidised health insurance coverage.

This comes at the same time as Republicans in Congress voted to throw 170,000 veterans off of food stamps, with their horrific cut to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by $40 billion over 10 years. Essentially, they created the deficit with two wars, and now they wish to turn their backs on those who fought the wars, by making the most vulnerable of veterans pay for it.
Republicans failed veterans, the Obama administration is putting that right.

Republicans had no problem with the President sitting idly by as New Orleans drowned:
I imagine that had the President reacted to Hurricane Sandy in New York, as his predecessor reacted to New Orleans after Katrina certain right winged media outlets would be insisting on playing video after video of lower Manhattan drowning as the President does nothing. Select Committees would pop up after right winged calls for immediate inquiries into the negligence of the President and his lack of care for American lives. The banging of the impeachment drum would be deafening. What happened when Bush completely mishandled the aftermath of Katrina, with a lack of preparation, emergency aid and reconstruction….. Republicans said nothing.

Republicans registered no anger at the joy the Bush administration took from outsourcing jobs abroad.

“I think outsourcing is a growing phenomenon, but it’s something that we should realize is probably a plus for the economy in the long run”.

– I’d imagine the response would include Tea Party protestations daily about how the President is wilfully killing the American Middle Class, like a crazy out of control Marxist.

Republicans didn’t and still don’t have a problem with growing numbers of uninsured children:
We all know how Republicans feel about ‘Obamacare’. I think there is a distinct possibility that their main problem with the health reforms, are that they involve the words ‘Obama’ & ‘care’. The former being a figure of hate regardless of what he says and does, and the latter being a concept that has eluded Republicans for generations. We should perhaps begin referring to the period between 2001 and 2008, as ‘BushPoverty’ (and if we’re in Texas, we may call it CruzPoverty, given his horrendous record). It’s a phrase Republicans can get on board with, because they remained particularly silent when the Census Bureau report noted that when Clinton left office, the number of uninsured Americans stood at 38.4 million… but when Bush left office, not only had median incomes fallen, the deficit risen, and poverty spiked, but the number of uninsured people in the US rose to 46.3 million. A 20.6% increase. That’s the record of a Party that now insist we consider them to be the rightful authorities on healthcare in America. Can you imagine how Republicans would have reacted if under a Democratic President, in just 8 years the number of uninsured rose by 20%, poverty spiked, and the median income plummeted? ……. Actually, they’d probably hail it a success.
BushPoverty.

Republicans didn’t threaten to shut down government over: A misleading argument taking the country to war, the massive deficit incurred because of the misleading arguments taking the country to war, a $6tn deficit, the hailing of outsourcing jobs to be great for the country, the drowning of New Orleans, impoverishing veterans, the worst job creation record in decades, the flippant dismissal of attempts to track down the World’s most wanted terrorist responsible for thousands of American lives lost, the Patriot Act, the 20% increase in those living without insurance, the drop in median incomes, the rise in child poverty.

Republicans do threaten to shut down government over: Insurance for kids with pre-existing conditions.
Good job Republicans. Good job.


The way of the Huckabee

December 1, 2010

Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee has called for whomever leaked the cables to Wikileaks, to be executed. Interesting. When Islamic extremists issue fatwas against people like Salmond Rushdie, our politicians rush to condemn them. They are barbaric. They are left overs from the Middle Ages. But apparently, American Republicans can issue death threats against whomever they so wish; especially if it intrudes on their apparent inherent right to be the bringers of war and destruction across the World.

Huckabee said:

‘Whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason, and I think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty’

A little extreme perhaps. But then i’ve always said, those who worship their abstract, fantasy World of the concept of “Nation” are just as moronic as those who worship their fantasy World of “Religion“. Huckabee wants to put someone to death for the sake of his abstract concept.

Huckabee, ironically, is part of a political party that sent thousands of troops to their deaths in a war that won support on the basis of a lie. In 2003 a letter was conveniently found in Saddam Hussein’s house, from one of the 9/11 bombers, Mohammad Atta, and the head of Saddam’s Iraqi Intelligence, General Tahir Jalil Habbush. The letter read:

“To the President of the Ba’ath Revolution Party and President of the Republic, may God protect you.”
reads:
“Mohammed Atta, an Egyptian national, came with Abu Ammer [the real name behind this Arabic alias remains a mystery] and we hosted him in Abu Nidal’s house at al-Dora under our direct supervision.
We arranged a work program for him for three days with a team dedicated to working with him…He displayed extraordinary effort and showed a firm commitment to lead the team which will be responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy.”

It was convenient, because it was simply false. The man named Nidal was an enemy of Hussein. I wrote about this in a previous blog in greater detail than I will go into here. Needless to say, the document is not authentic. This comes years after Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist and Author Ron Suskind, suggested that the Bush White House along with the CIA had forged the document to suggest a pre-war link between Iraq and Al Qaeda to back up their authority for war. Given that, according to Wikileak documents leaked a few months back, this little lie, along with the tidal wave of lies the Republicans threw at the World in order to gain support for their illegal war, caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, shouldn’t Huckabee be getting his priorities straight, and quit worrying about how many rich Americans in expensive suits these leaks embarrass, and worry about his weak interpretation of the word “treason”?

Every President for the past, at least, 100 years should be tried for treason. Reagan funded and armed right winged terrorists in Nicaragua, and so was indirectly responsible for thousands of innocent lives lost.
General Suharto of Indonesia is estimated to have killed around 1,000,000 people in 1965, after the US gave lists of known Communist sympathisers, making it easier to round them up and execute them. Arms deals then propped up the Suharto dictatorship through the reign of President Ford right up to President Clinton.
$112,000,000 worth of arms were passed to Suharto’s regime, from the Carter administration.
During the invasion of East Timor, but the Suharto regime in Indonesia, supported by the Americans; the UN had a vote calling for Indonesia to stop its invasion immediately. The vote was blocked by the US who also blocked a vote to impose economic sanctions on the Country.
Ford’s Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told Suharto, on his absolutely abhorrent invasion of East Timor:

“It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly; the use of US-made arms could create problems.”

Kissinger knew that what he was supporting and helping, was nothing short of genocide. Strangely, Huckabee hasn’t called for Kissinger to be executed.

The problem isn’t that the leaker, or Wikileaks puts anyone in danger. They don’t. What they do, is embarrass World Governments. Especially America. It is long overdue quite frankly. Politicians like Huckabee would quite like to be able to get away with murder, without being hindered by those pesky journalists.

They set a precedent; they show that technology has reached a point where it is possible for those working within the system to say “Hang on, this is wrong, this needs to stop” and leak the relevant information and misdeeds to the press, without meeting in a car park and handing over brown envelopes. Politicians like Clinton, and Obama, and Huckabee, and Bush are not concerned with National Security, they are concerned that their quite obvious misdeeds and crimes are being made public. It is the equivalent of a murderer complaining that the press made his name public, and that it might make his neighbours dislike him now. Boo fucking hoo.

Wikileaks is doing what journalism should have been doing for years. This is the job of journalism.
It seems to have become the job of the press, to add fuel to the cancer of Nationalism/Patriotism. To mask all shocking details of what our Country undertakes in our name, behind a wall. On one side of the wall, the press place us…. portrayed as the great victims of the evil Arab and Socialist World. On the other side of the wall, they place everyone else. The problem is, the wall doesn’t exist. It is an illusion. To keep us supporting this shit, they wave an English or American flag every so often, and play our National Anthem. Suddenly, we don’t need to question what sort of crimes our Governments are committing, because they must be doing the right thing; they’re English after all!

The Press tend to toe the Government line, certainly on foreign policy issues. Even the BBC, that beacon of independent broadcasting, in 2004 referred to Blair as the “great liberator”, and not in an ironic sense.
We seem happy to read versions of stories sourced by government officials and business leaders (as if their word is truth), influenced by the needs and desires of advertisers, and playing to the political and business sympathies of editors; who all create a sort of fantasy World, but the moment any potentially embarrassing story is leaked, we bang on about National Security. As if it’s the fault of those who leaked the fact that our governments are shit and our ridiculously clouded National Pride is a little bit misplaced.

It isn’t irresponsible. We’re fucking irresponsible for constantly electing corrupt lying money hungry bastards. Governments are irresponsible for playing such a dangerous game with diplomacy, and invoking a sense of the abstract concept of National Pride whenever we’re heading toward a conflict, whether we’re morally right or not.
We’ve known for years anyway, that governments and big business are absolute bastards, it’s nice to have it confirmed.

Yet some people seem to have said….. “Oh my god, the UK has been supporting torture, and bad mouthing other Nations. They also are responsible for millions of civilian deaths in the Arab World……….including children!!!……………….. who fucking leaked this, the bastards!!
Get your priorities straight.

There needs to be a place where the misdeeds of government and business can be aired without being twisted by vested interests in the press. There is no Andy Coulson or Alastair Campbell to spin the truth.

Also, there exists quite a contradiction within Capitalist countries, especially from the Right, who want wikileaks closed down. The hollow cries of “keep government out of the market” are suddenly ignored, whenever they demand it. It’s almost laughable how hypocritical the bastards actually are. Jefferson said that a free press was essential to democracy. Well, this is what a free press does. Accept it.

One of the leaks shows that whilst the US and UK have been telling us that no official log of civilian deaths in Iraq exists at all, it actually does exist. It shows that the US had continually ignored hundreds of cases of rape, child abuse, torture, beatings, and murder by the Iraqi police. It shows also that the US and UK know that at least 109,000 innocent Iraqis have died as a result of the Iraq war. A war that was sanctioned on the basis of a complete lie. The Republicans, of whom Huckabee is one, are responsible for the deaths of at least 109,000 innocent people. Huckabee should be tried for war crimes, and treason given how many Americans lost their lives as a result of it.

Wikileaks also released a video not long ago showing soldiers in an Apache helicopter gun sight, using the helicopter like an XBox war game. They take out a small village, and then can be heard saying “Ha, ha, I hit ‘em.” Another says “Look at those dead bastards“. Who are the real fucking criminals in this?

Another log shows that a British rifleman shot dead an young Iraqi girl who was innocently playing in the street. Our journalists would have never uncovered this. Her death, the anguish of her family would have remained a secret. The rifleman would be, and probably still is, hailed a hero. And so the game of the glory of the West no matter what, continues, unhindered; whilst the bodies of children lie shot and bloodied in the streets of Iraq. But Huckabee doesn’t have a problem with this. He has a problem with anyone who actually dares to make it public.

For a Nation that prides itself on its democratic system, I would have thought we’d all be supporting something that absolutely helps democracy flourish. You cannot have democracy, without all the relevant information on how your representatives and government are acting, in your name. Genuinely justifiable secrets, like troop positions in Afghanistan are one thing; but leaking the amount of awful deaths and torturing your Country has been involved in, or leaking the fact that your Country is trying to spy on UN officials, is not a genuinely justifiable secret (unless you’re President Nixon).

Without these sorts of leaks, the status quo remains, and the status quo is massively unbalanced, and quite honestly wrong. The status quo exists to keep the consumer-lead middle classes happy, half truthful news, quickly devised, by journalists who do not investigate as they should, next to stories about who Paris Hilton fucked at the weekend. A World that and is basically saying “ignore what’s happening over there…. ignore the blood……….. oooo look, a shiny thing! You want to buy the shiny thing! Go on, buy the shiny thing”. But then when someone shouts, loudly, “No, fuck the shiny thing, let’s focus on the blood, let’s focus on what’s happening over there….” politicians call out “NATIONAL SECURITY!” It has nothing to do with National Security and everything to do with National embarrassment.
What Huckabee is generally saying is “We have worked hard to create the myth that was care about the World. That we aren’t just attempting to create an economic empire built on docile, easily manipulated and exploited peoples. Our people ACTUALLY believe this bullshit we propagate too. Please don’t ruin it. If you do ruin it, we’ll put you to death“.
Wikileaks, and online citizen journalism, is where journalism is heading. A proper radical kind of press, that does not filter out damaging reports, is what people like Northcliff set out to do decades ago.

This isn’t dangerous. It isn’t going to cause another World War. It is massively needed. Because the way things work at the moment, is very one sided, and is run like an American Empire. They are the new Rome and they want it all their way, without question, placing themselves above the law. The President and the Secretary of State are on damage control mode. They are part of the established order, that wishes to conduct their business, however dodgy it is, however illegal it may be, in absolute secrecy. That is the order that exists. If you don’t particularly like this fairy land of an order, then you will support Wikileaks, like I support Wikileaks.

The only question you should ask yourself is; Should America be allowed to get away with anything it pleases?